From left to right, first row: Palau Ambassador to the United Nations Ngedikes Olai Uludong and Bangladesh UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen signed an agreement establishing the diplomatic relationship between their nations on July 19 in New York. In the second row are Palau Education Minister Sinton Soalablai, Palau President Tommy Remengesau, Jr., and Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen. (Photo courtesy of

Amid opposing views expressed by some locals on social media regarding Palau’s establishment of diplomatic relationship with Bangladesh, President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. is firm with his stance that the action is good for Palau, saying the country needs as many friends as it can at the United Nations (UN).

Remengesau said that having diplomatic relationship with Bangladesh means improve government-to-government communication and better facilitation of the employment of Bangladesh workers in Palau to ensure they are “legitimate, law abiding, truly trained, and professionals.”

“Palauans are very few and we need outside help to support economic growth,” Remengesau said in Palauan.

Palau is also eyeing possibilities of trade with Bangladesh as a result of the diplomatic relationship, Remengesau said, explaining that the latter has a lot of commodities and goods.

“It’s up to the private sector [in Palau] to see if the goods they (Bangladesh) provide are cheap and reasonable,” Remengesau said.

Remengesau also emphasized that having closer relationship with the Bangladesh government will allow for better screening of Bangladeshi workers coming to the country.

“The criminal element is also very important. You need to get the background (of people entering Palau) because we are not hiring somebody that is on a terrorist list,” Remengesau said.

Remengesau’s optimism with Palau’s relationship with Bangladesh, however, was not met with the same enthusiasm by some Palauans.

In a Palau Facebook forum, an informal poll was conducted asking Palauans what they think about the diplomatic relationship with Bangladesh. As of 2pm yesterday, July 25, a total of 271 votes were casted in the poll with the majority or 209 voters believing the diplomatic tie is not good (Ng Diak Ungil).

Meanwhile, forty-seven of the voters expressed support for the diplomatic relationship in the belief that it is good for Palau (Ng Mal Ungil) while only 15 voters said they do not care about it (Ng Diak Chomkereu). (Rhealyn C. Pojas)